Chesham United FC

This week we lost the battle to be able to play our scheduled league match against Plymouth Parkway, a frozen pitch means there is no way we will be in a position to play safely. Credit to our groundsman who has been putting in the hours trying to thaw, and keep thawed, the pitch, but there are areas of the ground that never get any sun and have been frozen for a couple of days now, and the weather prospects are not looking good for changing that so the match ref has had to make the decision to postpone the game.

Another consideration in the decision is that Plymouth Parkway have an extremely long journey and we did not want them to have to set off on a wasted journey with a late cancellation, we have been therebefore and that is frustrating! We also know how long the journey is having started our league campaign down in Plymouth back in August, when things were much warmer. On that day the two sides played out a 2-2 draw, a result that did not really give us too much indication as to where we might be competing in the league, but as we approach the Christmas period I confess to being absolutely delighted with the performance of the team at the moment, and our position as title contenders. There is a long way to go still, but the quality of our football, and the results, in recent weeks have been fantastic – acknowledged by the fact that we have been named Southern League Team of the Month for November.

This past week has seen us on the road to Dorchester and Yate, winning both matches scoring three goals in each game with extremely professional and competent performances. It was also pleasing to see highlights of games being posted on social media so soon after the match for supporters to enjoy.

We are under no illusions that these are challenging times for everyone financially, the football club included, and our priority as a Board remains the financial stability and long-term security of the football club. That means working tremendously hard at generating income through commercial activities including clubhouse income and all the advertising and sponsorship we can muster.

We are also aware that income through the turnstiles is vitally important and if we have learned anything over the years, it is the fact that the best proven way to increase attendances is to be competing at the top end of the table. Having got ourselves into such a strong league position we are now determined to maintain that position through the second-half of the season and hope to complete a successful campaign that will live long in the memories of everyone in the town. You will have seen that determination with some of the recent additions to the squad, including this week the signing of prolific goal scorer Liam Ferdinand who scored 25 goals in this league last season for Metropolitan Police before moving on to promoted Farnborough in the summer. A very exciting signing for the club.

Also on the playing front Jake Peck had a successful second operation this week and is now back home. Roddy Collins is now back from Ireland and being seen regularly by Matty our very highly qualified physio as between they carefully plan his road to recovery. Bradley Clayton is now stepping up his rehab and back to running and doing a Preseason training scheme, we hope to have him back just after Christmas.

Despite Saturday’s game being off, the clubhouse will be open in the evening showing the England v France game on our multiple screens – during the Euros a couple of years ago the atmosphere in The Chess Suite for England games was superb and with excellent beers and service, what better place to watch the big game?

Elsewhere I was delighted to see that our partnership with local charity, Bucks Mind, has been extended to the Ladies team to further raise awareness of mental health among the club, fans and the greater Bucks community. We want to use this collaboration to provide an opportunity to raise the profile of Buckinghamshire Mind in the local community as well as raise vital funds for local mental health services.

To finish, I can confirm that by the 21st December our second Pre Planning Application will be completed and ready to be submitted to the Buckinghamshire Unitary Authority Planning Department, at which point the expected response is somewhere between six and twelve weeks. By then we will have a much better idea as to whether we are in a league title race (or at least in play-off contention) – exciting time, your support makes all the difference. Thank you.

Peter Brown